Technical note: formation of airborne ice crystals in a wall independent reactor (WIR) under atmospheric conditions

  • Both, gas and particle scavenging contribute to the transport of organic compounds by ice crystals in the troposphere. To simulate these processes an experimental setup was developed to form airborne ice crystals under atmospheric conditions. Experiments were performed in a wall independent reactor (WIR) installed in a walk-in cold chamber maintained constantly at -20°C. Aerosol particles were added to the carrier gas of ambient air by an aerosol generator to allow heterogeneous ice formation. Temperature variations and hydrodynamic conditions of the WIR were investigated to determine the conditions for ice crystal formation and crystal growth by vapour deposition. In detail, the dependence of temperature variations from flow rate and temperature of the physical wall as well as temperature variations with an increasing reactor depth were studied. The conditions to provide a stable aerosol concentration in the carrier gas flow were also studied. The temperature distribution inside the reactor was strongly dependent on flow rate and physical wall temperature. At an inlet temperature of -20°C, a flow rate of 30 L•min exp -1 and a physical wall temperature of +5°C turned out to provide ideal conditions for ice formation. At these conditions a sharp and stable laminar down draft "jet stream" of cold air in the centre of the reactor was produced. Temperatures measured at the chamber outlet were kept well below the freezing point in the whole reactor depth of 1.0 m. Thus, melting did not affect ice formation and crystal growth. The maximum residence time for airborne ice crystals was calculated to at 40 s. Ice crystal growth rates increased also with increasing reactor depth. The maximum ice crystal growth rate was calculated at 2.82 mg• exp -1. Further, the removal efficiency of the cleaning device for aerosol particles was 99.8% after 10 min. A reliable particle supply was attained after a preliminary lead time of 15 min. Thus, the minimum lead time was determined at 25 min. Several test runs revealed that the WIR is suitable to perform experiments with airborne ice crystals.

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Author:Elke FriesGND, Werner Haunold, Elena Starokozhev, Katrin Palitzsch, Robert Sitals, Wolfgang Jaeschke, Wilhelm Püttmann
Parent Title (English):Atmospheric chemistry and physics / Discussions
Publisher:European Geosciences Union
Place of publication:Katlenburg-Lindau
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2008/07/09
Date of first Publication:2008/07/09
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2010/09/23
Page Number:26
First Page:13017
Last Page:13042
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0